Strategies for State & Education Agency Leaders

Leaders in this category include the chief state school officer (e.g. commissioner, secretary, state superintendent of education), their division or program leaders, and members of governors’ staff with pK-12, higher education, or racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity in their portfolios.

To see strategies, make a selection below.

Cultivating an interest in becoming an educator

  • Partner, advertise, support, or create efforts to develop a comprehensive, region-wide initiative to promote teaching and education leadership as a profession. Work to ensure that materials and resources are culturally responsive, readily available.
  • Seek and advocate for funding and support to incentivize the creation and continuation of local or district programs to welcome, train, support, and hire people (including new Americans) to become paraeducators or substitute teachers and provide training, support, and programming to help them become certified educators.
  • Highlight, share, or amplify stories of success and best practices about programs that support paraeducators of color and new Americans becoming certified educators.
  • Highlight, share, or amplify stories of success about businesses that allow employees to spend time in schools. Consider developing state-wide partnerships with businesses that allow employees to spend time in schools.
  • Partner with employers in your state to arrange school visits or shadowing of state education agency employees during days in schools.
  • Provide funding and support to incentivize the creation and continuation of career and technical education pathways and programs focused on education.
  • Highlight, share, or amplify stories of success and best practices around education pathways and education-focused career and technical education programs.
  • Provide incentives and support to districts and career and technical education programs to encourage engaging with communities of color and multilingual communities around pathways into teacher education programs.
  • Establish a statewide student council to bring together students to inform policy change and district improvements.

Providing access to and supporting the completion of education preparation programs

  • Remove barriers to accessing Pell Grants for adult education enrollees to participate in education courses leading to certification.
  • Require anti-racist training for all educators and provide funding, support, and resources around fulfilling the requirements.
  • Create a micro-credentialing or endorsement for culturally responsive teaching (either at the pre-service or inservice level).
  • Allocate funding for and support districts in covering the cost for paraprofessionals to become certified teachers.
  • Require annual reporting on the percentage of faculty and students of color in educator preparation programs.
  • Require anti-bias training for all teacher mentors (current educators who are supporting prospective educators), education faculty, sponsoring teachers, coaches.
  • Require educator preparation programs to conduct stakeholder surveys of anyone who works with educator preparation candidates to gauge how they are doing with respect to cultural competency.
  • Support partnerships between institutions of higher education, districts, and schools to provide experiences in K-12 schools for college students in their first two years.
  • Eliminate the cost of translating certificates from credentialed candidates that require translations.
  • Incentivize partnerships that support prospective educators of color between IHEs and LEAs; support and facilitate those partnerships.

Streamlining certification and licensure

  • Shift away from traditional examinations (such as Praxis) as requirements for certification toward alternative ways for candidates to demonstrate skills and competencies, such as portfolios, demonstrations, or expanded waivers.
  • Implement full certification reciprocity across New England.
  • Streamline the process for certification and make obtaining certification, licensure, and endorsements easy and clear for those applying.
  • Create opportunities for groups of educators who may be displaced from other countries to become certified educators in your state.

Recruiting and hiring diverse educators

  • Subsidize moving expenses for racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse educators.
  • Ensure all legislation the state education agency proposes has clear responsibilities for school boards and accountability mechanisms to ensure compliance.
  • Implement goals for hiring educators and superintendents of color with clear and actionable accountability mechanisms for local districts to support compliance.
  • Provide resources, funding, training, pressure, accountability, and support to ensure that school boards participate in anti-bias training, rewrite hiring processes and procedures, and update hiring policies.
  • Require the collection and reporting on demographic information of candidates hired and retirees from all districts and schools in your state.
  • Encourage, incentivize, require, and support the creation of professional learning networks for people making hiring decisions in districts and schools; members of these networks should share ideas, strategies, resources, and support while also engaging in anti-bias education.
  • Incentivize, support, and require districts to design and implement a hiring plan for diversifying the educator workforce.
  • Provide resources and supports for districts around hiring racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse candidates such as audit tools, sample policies, exemplars, templates, hiring guides, and retention recommendations.
  • Create a position at the state education agency to support the diversification of the educator workforce, promote stronger collaboration across agencies, and support the development and sharing of resources.
  • Work at the state level to support changes to district collective bargaining agreements regarding new district hiring policies.
  • Develop and share resources, guidance, and best practices around expanding job postings to be seen by more people and targeted toward racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse audiences.
  • Support the development of a cross-state platform for posting district and school job openings.

Supporting, retaining, an promoting diverse educators

  • Support legislation with targets for hiring racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse superintendents; put accountability mechanisms in place to ensure compliance from districts and communities.
  • Create, promote, and support mentorship programs for racially, ethnically, and linguistically, diverse aspiring educators and leaders.
  • Study and make publicly available any pay gaps between racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse educators and their peers.
  • Provide support, resources, and training for leaders around culture change and creating buildings and communities where people want to work and stay.
  • Provide support, resources, and best practices around creating and facilitating affinity groups in schools and districts.
  • Collaborate with neighboring states to share resources and practices to diversify the educator workforce.
  • Create and mandate state and regional induction and mentoring programs specifically for racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse educators.
  • Create a state-wide recognition series specifically highlighting the work of ethnically, racially, and linguistically diverse educators. Could include video vignettes with people’s stories of becoming educators.
  • Provide support and resources for district and community engagement events allowing communities to reflect on their past, voice needs and concerns, and create action steps.

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